1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets: $45.5 million.
2. I Am Legend: $34.2 million.
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: $29 million.
4. Charlie Wilson's War: $9.6 million.
5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: $9.35 million.
All of this week's new releases came out for Christmas day rather than the usual Friday, so we've got three new movies that hit theaters yesterday, as well as one that went into wider release.
Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem
What's It All About: The lead critters from the Aliens and Predator franchises duke it out once again, with several unfortunate humans getting between them.
Why It Might Do Well: There's always room at the box office for a big old science fiction special effects extravaganza. Unlike the first AVP, this one is rated R, giving the gore hounds more bang for their buck.
Why It Might Not Do Well: While the creature action in the series' previous installment had its moments, things like the plot and dialogue left me ice cold. Rottentomatoes.com is giving this a 14% rotten rating.
Number of Theaters: 2,563
Prediction: $18 million
The Great Debaters
What's It All About: Denzel Washington directs and stars in this film based on true events. Washington plays the coach of an East Texas college debate team who took on the team at Harvard in the 1930s.
Why It Might Do Well: Should offer a viable alternative to all the action and effects laden extravaganzas out there.
Why It Might Not Do Well: A war of words might be too low key for some.
Number of Theaters: 1,164
Prediction: $10 million
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
What's It All About: A young boy cares for a strange and rapidly growing creature hatched from an egg of unknown origin.
Why It Might Do Well: An E.T.-esque tale that should attract those looking to bring the whole family.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Alvin and the Chipmunks may have already burned out the holiday cute factor at the box office.
Number of Theaters: 2,772
Prediction: $14 million
And going into wider release this week we have:
What's It All About: Comedy drama about a teenage girl who suddenly finds herself pregnant and tries to find suitable adoptive parents for her baby.
Why It Might Do Well: There's plenty of buzz about this one, including a 94% fresh rating from Rottentomatoes.com, and like The Great Debaters, Juno provides an alternative to the big budget flicks.
Why It Might Not Do Well: The relatively small release will keep this one out of the top five.
Number of Theaters: 998
Prediction: $8 million
I have a hunch that next week's top five will look something like this:
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets
2. Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem
3. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
4. Alvin and the Chipmunks
5. The Great Debaters
As always, thanks to everyone who took part in our box office prediction contest. Here's how things turned out for this week:
1. Matt: 13
1. Bubba8193: 13
1. D: 13
1. Josh: 13
2. Ray: 11
3. Porcalina: 10
4. Anna07: 9
5. Ryan S: 6
5. ABIRD0006: 6
LAST CHANCE! This is your last chance to participate in our weekly box office prediction contest before 2007 comes to a close. Sure, we'll be back in 2008, but why wait until next year? Post your predictions in the comments section below before 5:00PM on Saturday. One point for every top five movie correctly named, two points for every correct placement, and one extra point for the top movie.